Jealousy in Love

I work with several young women who struggle to find healthy romantic relationships. One of the challenges I’ve observed (and these young women have pointed out to me time and again) is that the young men they date often get jealous of their success. The young men become insecure and attempt to control them when the woman is appropriately friendly with others or experiences a level of success or gets a raise or…or really anything that promotes their status. I want to deny this, but I have seen it happen too many times. Jealousy raises its green little head and shatters the relationship. Because of their partner’s insecurity, the young women are faced with the false choice of rising to their full potential or “dumbing it down” so “their guy doesn’t get jealous.” 

On the other hand, according to one of the great passages on love, “love is not jealous.”  Love celebrates the successes of others, girlfriend or spouse included. Love rejoices with the truth of their spouse’s God-given talent and ability. Instead of jealousy over a spouse’s strength and growth:

  • Love celebrates their success with them. Love rejoices with those who rejoice and weeps with those who weep. Enjoy the celebration of your spouse’s strengths and successes.
  • Love recognizes that jealousy is a feeling not an action. Jealousy flows from our own insecurities and inaccurate comparisons. We need not compare our lives to any other person. Each of us has our own strengths and roles. Accept and celebrate the diversity of the people in your life. Rather than allowing jealousy to arise, celebrate the strength of diversity.
  • Love also recognizes jealousy as a sign to address our own insecurities. Life can often arouse feelings of insecurity and insignificance in us. Jealousy signals a need to resolve past issues that have contributed to feelings of insecurity. Take time to work through the past and make any internal changes needed.

Jealousy has interfered with the formation of loving relationships and the stability of loving marriages. Don’t let it destroy your marriage or love. Do the personal work of resolving your past and building your sense of a secure identity so you can rejoice with the successes of your spouse.

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